Man Convicted For Scamming Houston Investors

A man who bilked millions of dollars from investors for a fake music festival in Houston is sentenced to five years in prison. Laurie Johnson reports.

James Watson, Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced by a federal judge here in
Houston.

Watson orchestrated a scam to convince investors to bankroll an event he called the Texas Music Festival.

Prosecutors say he received $2.5 million from 18 investors, including a 92-year-old woman and her 72-year-old daughter.

The three-day festival was supposed to be held August 30th through September 1st of 2008 at Eleanor Tinsley Pavilion.

Prosecutors say Watson disappeared before the festival ended without paying the investors or the musicians, vendors
and police officers working the event.

The 55-year-old previously served time in federal prison for a similar scheme related to the Sacramento Jazz Festival.

Watson's Texas Music Festival has no connection to a similarly named annual event at the University of Houston.

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...